CITIES - Reading List 11

La Piccioletta Barca

This discussion was focused on writers and cities, and writing the city. The writers and artists selected for this month's theme celebrate the city as a place of artistry, inspiration, and cohabitation, while also exposing the social inequalities and injustices inherent in urban spaces. At the beginning of the book club, we invited everyone to say a few words (or share a photo or a map) about the city or town where they live, seen through their eyes:

What places do you frequent?

What makes your experience of [insert city] different from anyone else's?

On cities in general

The Politics of Equity: Who owns the city?, Saskia Sassen:


An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris by Georges Perec, trans. Marc Lowenthal (PDF), and 'Approaches to What?', trans. John Sturrock, an article about what Perec calls the "infra-ordinary"

'Theory of the Dérive' by Guy Debord, trans. Ken Knabb:

Los Angeles

'A City Laid Out Like Lace' by Eve Babitz, from the collection I Used to be Charming, NYRB

Babitz, A City Laid Out Like Lace.pdf

'The City and the Writer: In Los Angeles with André Naffis-Sahely', interview by Nathalie Handal:

Buenos Aires

'The Streets' by Jorge Luis Borges, trans. Stephen Kessler:


'The City and the Writer: In Bombay with Jeet Thayil', interview by Nathalie Handal:

New York

Jazz, by Toni Morrison, listen to the author read an excerpt here:


Interview with Eva Weber, director of The Solitary Life of Cranes: (see a trailer for the film here:

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